You're already long distance. It's the perfect time to break up. Rip that band-aid off. You know it's not going to get better. It already sounds pretty scary. I would stop trying to diagnose him-- that sounds like the first step towards you trying to "fix" him. You're not his psychologist, you're his girlfriend and that's not your job. We should show up to relationships in relatively good mental health, or at least be working on our issues. He doesn't even seem aware of his issues.
I've seen couples go through similar situations with STDs and handle it infinitely better than your guy did. It's not impossible to find someone who won't slut-shame you for the rest of your life for contracting a very common dermatological condition that, stigma aside, is really not that big of a deal. Sure, you could've disclosed even though your doctors told you it was unnecessary, but you know what? These kinds of fuck-ups are par for the course in the early stages of a relationship. You find out a lot about your partner by the way you work through them together. I think you know what you need to do. Be safe.
@14888595@twitter This is so true. I think we *want* therapy to be like corrective surgery that fixes the problem so that we never have to worry about it again, but more often it's like medication, a way of managing a chronic condition. If you are prone to depression, it's not a personal failure if you start feeling depressed after a long period of coping. It's just what happens.
Also, anxiety meds have been a godsend for me. More often than not I don't use them, but just knowing that I have them has helped me get through a lot of situations without escalating into panic.
Time Warner's "Enjoy Better" comes to mind, if we're talking about vague slogans with little respect for grammar.
This might be one of my favorite Polly columns ever. Great perspective on the clusterfuck that is planning a wedding. What stuck out to me about this letter is that the LW spends so much time justifying her decision to get married & have a wedding. LW, what makes you think you need to do that?
I think therapy is the real answer, but when it comes down to it, it's okay if you want to go out and buy another white dress. Maybe something that you can wear on all your anniversaries? If that helps you to move on, go for it. It sounds like you could stand to do a few more frivolous things for yourself.
LW, I went through a break-up like this once. Of course it wasn't exactly like your story, but the guy sounds similar. I was devastated at the time, but looking back, it was one of the best things that could've happened to me. After that I never dated guys who were less than sweet, kind, considerate, and crazy about me. Most of them weren't right for me in the end, but they treated my heart with care.
When you're with someone like this guy, you give up so much more than your single status. It must feel overwhelming to not have to tiptoe around someone else's ego anymore. It's probably going to take you a while to recover. Stay in therapy and be good to yourself.
So much sympathy for you, TLDB. Sometimes I think our obsession with "closure" and "moving on" can be very detrimental. I lost a sibling when I was a teenager and for a long time the idea that grief was something that was never over frightened me. It's not that your grief will always feel as overwhelming and intense as it does right now. For me, it's like a wound that healed but left a scar. You will always see the space where your father was, even long after it's empty. That's okay. It means his memory and importance in your life will always be with you. But like someone said above, it's okay to take breaks from grieving, too, or to continue with your life in a way that doesn't necessarily look like grieving. As long as you're staying open to feeling things and not judging yourself, there's really no wrong way to do it.
Great column as usual. LW, I think your dude is just really uncomfortable with feelings. If you think about it, this is really an intimacy issue. By interrupting you every time you start talking about something difficult, he's not letting you be vulnerable and intimate with each other. Maybe address it from that perspective? It's hard to be truly close to someone who can't just be quiet and listen when you're telling them about someone who was important to you who passed away. Like someone said above, he doesn't have to relate to all of your experiences, but he should want to understand them.
This is one of the most nuanced and empathetic discussions of class differences in relationships that I've ever read. Polly really saw what was going on here.
I think you can work through class differences as long as you truly have respect for each other and appreciate those differences. My boyfriend's family has more money than mine and I like going to his Thanksgiving because I know they'll serve something bourgie and amazing and it'll be a quiet, classy evening. He likes coming to mine because we have the cranberry sauce from the can and get a little drunk and loud and that's fun, too. There are usually things to appreciate on both sides.
Wishing you the best, @pointreyes. I don't think anyone can tell you whether to keep or not keep this child. I would just say that it's best not to make decisions based from fear, such as that you will never have an opportunity to have a kid again. At 35 you still have time and plenty of options. And while you shouldn't consider the father in terms of hoping that this baby forces him to step up to a role he'll never be able to fulfill, I think you should consider the role he might actually play. I.e., child support-- Your kid deserves it, but will that be an ongoing battle with him? What narrative are you going to tell your child about his or her father? What if he has a change of heart years from now and wants to be involved in your kid's life, but he's still completely unreliable? What about his family-- what if his parents want to be involved in their grandchild's life? Because like it or not, he doesn't necessarily get to make a clean break here.
Take care of yourself, surround yourself with people who love and support you no matter what, talk to your therapist, meditate, and break off contact with the dude for a while. Think about what is best for a child and what is best for you. The answer will come to you. Best wishes.
@sophiah Great advice right here, especially on the child support.